Saving $$ is a good reason to switch to streaming, but don’t be surprised by these things.
Are you thinking about cutting the cord of cable or satellite TV and going with a streaming service like Sling TV, Direct TV Now? There’s a fairly new player in the game that you’re already familiar with to some extent. Google introduced YouTube TV less than a year ago and while it is less popular than the other services, it’s worth a look.
Over the next few posts I’ll compare these services with pros and cons and costs and programming.
YouTube TV, like the other choices, offers some of the popular channels offered by cable and satellite, but not everything. I counted 56 channels which includes Disney, EPSN, most cable news channels, the TBS network of stations and movie channels such as IFC, AMC and FXX. It does not offer Nickelodeon and The Weather Channel.
To access YouTube TV you’ll need a smartphone, tablet or a computer. The programming is streamed to the TV if it is wifi enabled (connected to your home’s wifi router) through a Google Chromecast streaming stick or if the TV is smart, in other words a television set that allows connection to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
The remote control is the smartphone or tablet which I find useful because I’m constantly looking for the remote to my Roku and Amazon Fire Stick. I know where my smartphone is, in my hands usually.
A Google Chromecast device is small and plugs into an HDMI port on the TV. These are around $35 but the price often drops. Like Amazon, Google would like to saturate the market with its device, and most people will purchase one or the other.
As for price, YouTube TV costs about the same as Sling TV and Direct TV Now. $45/ month. Sling TV has a $20 plan which obviously gives you access to fewer channels.
Pros of YouTube TV:
Many of the channels you watch the most are offered.
Inexpensive (by cable and satellite standards)
Easy to use
Up to 6 people can watch TV (different channels too) at the same time.
Includes sports channels ESPN, SEC Network and MLB Network.
Cloud DVR to watch any program any time
Cons of YouTube TV:
Missing popular channels like Weather Channel
Requires Google’s own Chromecast streaming stick
or Chromecast enabled TV
Does not work with Amazon Fire Stick
No 4k programming
How does it stack up with the others (Sling TV and Direct TV Now) I’m going to test all three and let you know.